It took several attempts on the telephone this morning, but I finally was able to get through to the office of my congressman, Jason Smith, a Republican representing Missouri's 8th congressional district. I hope, based on the amount of telephone traffic that he is apparently receiving, that the congressman is getting his ear well bent on the subject of health care in America.
The young lady who eventually answered by call was very pleasant and polite. Unfortunately, she did not reveal her identity or else I would send the congressman a note complimenting her by name.
This is the second time that I have called the Congressman's Smith's office to talk on the subject of health care. I was familiar with the routine and did not expect to actually get to speak to the secluded politician - and, of course, that expectation was met.
During my brief conversation with Smith's telephone operator, I made five points. She assured me that each would be presented to the congressman. The concerns I expressed were:
- The American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) is phony coverage that will leave millions without access to health care.
- Trumpcare will devastate rural hospitals and clinics such as those in my town of West Plains.
- Why can't the richest nation on earth take care of our ill and infirm?
- I would like to hear what the Congressional Budget Office has to say about the measure - before Congress votes. Why don't members want to know what it will actually cost?
- If money is the issue, perhaps Trump should cut back on his weekend jetaways to Florida.
That was all. It was a simple message presented in a respectful manner. Now, will Congressman Smith repay that respect by giving my concerns at least cursory consideration?
I've said my piece - twice. Now it's time for the rest of America to say theirs. Even if you think there is zero chance that it will do any good at all, call your congressman before today's vote and weigh in on the subject of health care in America - and then post about the call on social media.
Silence is an option that will cost us all dearly.